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August 2014 providing personalised emotional, practical and financial support and care to people affected by breast cancer

newsletter of breast cancer care wa

How your support helped in 2013/2014 We took some time to reflect on the year that was and wanted to share with you what was achieved thanks to the unwavering support of our community, donors, sponsors and suppliers who continue to invest in our organisation. In July 2013 our service provision was at capacity. To ensure we could meet the ever growing needs of our community, we appointed our third Breast Care Nurse Maria, in July and our third Counsellor Linda, in September. As a result, not only were we able to see more clients, but the depth and quantity of what we could provide also increased. By year-end, our breast care nurses increased their support by 75%. This included home and hospital visits and support in person, over the phone and even by email. When increasing our staffing levels, we set a goal of increasing our wellbeing check-ins with clients. It seems we have a knack for calling just at the right time, but during busy periods these just aren’t possible. With an additional breast care nurse we were able to increase these by 61% and our support by phone also increased by 150%. We have also seen a 16% increase in the number clients we are supporting with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer. With few services available to these ladies outside of Breast Cancer Care WA and their challenges often quite complex, we anticipate this area of need will continue to grow. Employing our third counsellor meant we increased the number of clients we supported by 11%. We also saw a 16% increase in the total counselling provided, not including the 10 monthly support groups they facilitate.

Thanks also to a very enthusiastic and caring group of volunteers, we were also able to increase requests for transport to and from medical appointments by 205%.

It’s all about people. The people we help and the people who help us. Statistics are always helpful to keep us on track but at the end of the day, it’s all about people. The people we help and the people who help us. It’s also about teamwork so my heartfelt thanks to the dedicated and hardworking team at Breast Cancer Care WA. You are all amazing! Before the end of the year, we will be relocating to the Cancer Wellness Centre in Cottesloe, made possible thanks to the generosity of Lotterywest and National Trust. Our new home will provide a more tranquil and healing environment and with more space, we will be able to employ more specialist staff. As such, we are aiming to appoint our fourth Breast Care Nurse and fourth Counsellor later in the year once we relocate. We hope you will continue to support us (as you always have). To know you are in our corner means the world to us and together we are making a real difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer.

Cancer Wellness Centre

In this issue What is counselling? ................................2

We were also able to increase our support to the Mandurah and Rockingham area and establish a new monthly support group in Midland – bringing the total number of groups held in 2013/2014 to 88. Therapy groups designed to help women who have finished treatment and trying to find their ‘new normal’ were also offered on a more regular basis and $120,000 was provided in financial assistance.

Services Team

The gift of pampering................................3 “There’s not enough hours in the day”....4 Colour your life better ..............................5 Fundraising champions............................6 Purple Bra Day wrap up............................8

Thank You from Donna Rendell, Chief Executive Officer

Breast Cancer Care WA, 1034 Wellington Street, West Perth WA 6005 l (08) 9324 3703 l

Services Team Update

Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis Dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis is often confronting and difficult. At many points along the way, the road may get a bit rough.

We all react in our own way. For some, the diagnosis is a terrible shock, for others just another ‘hiccup’ along the way. Possibly for you this will be a very emotional time – bombarded with feelings of fear, anxiety, confusion and turmoil. Or perhaps for you the practical side will take over – looking to ‘get on with things’ by getting appointments arranged and the household and workplace organised. For many people it’s a varying combination of both of these responses. Whatever your ‘coping style’ is, gaining accurate information and helpful support are often the key aspects to attaining the very best outcome for you. The purpose of the Breast Cancer Click online support community is to provide a place where you know you are not alone and you can access accurate information and you can speak with a breast cancer specialist nurse.

Join us online to read more about the experiences of our Click Members and access a wide variety of information at

What is counselling? Humanistic psychology in counselling is based on “uniquely human issues such as the self, hope, love, creativity and individuality” (Rieger, 2011) that provide the potential for positive human growth in the face of adversity. Unless you have experienced counselling first hand, it’s quite common to have misconceptions about exactly what it is, what is expected of you and what the counselling process is like. Counselling is a humanistic and holistic approach to addressing life challenges and is focused on creating a sense of balance and wellbeing in a person’s life in order to move steadily through difficult times. Each person’s journey through breast cancer and their responses to it are different and therefore an individual approach that considers these factors is essential. A breast cancer diagnosis will not only affect the individual but also the lives of loved ones. Relatives and friends will respond in different ways, some helpful to the person experiencing the cancer and some not. A Counsellor is a person who is outside the perimeter of significant others, who offers strong emotional support and gentle encouragement from an unbiased and non-judgemental standpoint. A good understanding of each individual’s experience provides a Counsellor with the information to help a client move forward.

Linda Garrett Counsellor

Within a trusting counselling relationship, a person experiencing breast cancer has the opportunity to share one’s innermost thoughts, fears, concerns, achievements, ideas, visions and more, while also collaborating in problem solving and decision making processes. Most importantly, a person is guided to access and embrace their own self-organising psyche and therefore feel empowered to tread more confidently in their own approach to physical healing and psychological wellbeing. At Breast Cancer Care WA, professional Counsellors, in collaboration with Breast Care Nurses, support a person to navigate their way through unknown territory and provide skills and techniques to find their resilience in an ever-changing environment. We offer individual counselling, couples counselling, specific therapy groups and support through our support group program and our peer support program.

To find out more, visit our website or call 9324 3703

The gift of pampering Undergoing treatment for breast cancer can have a significant impact on the way a person looks and feels and it is our goal to provide support to our clients in a personalised way that helps that individual. We believe that small things can make a big difference and providing an invite to our Pamper Day is just one way we try to help.

“We feel very honoured to have been treated to the most luxurious day, combined with such good humour and other women in our position with breast cancer. The generosity shown by the sponsors was absolutely amazing. Thank you again for your wonderful love and heartfelt expressions which made the day long remembered by our group.” - Janine and Sheree. Taking place every six weeks, it is only due to the immense generosity of local businesses who continue to provide all of the services free of charge, that the ladies have the chance to sit back, relax and be pampered in a beautiful, calm atmosphere. Clients enjoy the opportunity to take time out for themselves, to chat with other women in similar situations and to be reminded of just how special they are with complimentary beauty treatments, massage, a makeover, professional photographs and plenty of good food, wine and goodies to take home. Pamper Days would simply not be possible without the support of our sponsors and we are blessed to have so many fantastic local businesses on board. On behalf of all the clients who get so much out of the Pamper Days, thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors!

“It’s amazing to see such generous and kind community support and it’s really nice to have such caring hands and hearts to help restore our dignity and confidence.” - Petrina. For more information on Pamper Days, click on “how we can help” under the services tab on our website.

Spirit Newsletter August 2014 l Page 3

Do you ever find yourself saying,

“There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”? Time is one of our most valuable and irreplaceable commodities. Here at Breast Cancer Care WA we know quite a few ladies who are making the most of every single day, because they know their time might be cut short. Thanks to our generous supporters, we were there when Clare needed somewhere to turn when she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer last year.

As a 37 year old neo natal nurse and mum to Keisha 19, Susan 16, Nikita 13, Jack 11 and Elijah 8, Clare has a lot to think about. What she tries not to think about is how much time she might have left with them. Clare was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 28 years old and 15 weeks pregnant with her youngest child, Elijah. It was a huge shock, but in spite of having to have a mastectomy and chemo, she was rewarded with a healthy baby boy and given the all clear.

“It was stage two, it was caught early, it hadn’t spread and as far as I knew it was contained.” Clare recalls. “I went back to my oncologist once a year and had mammograms. I never ever thought I was going to die from cancer!” That was until two years ago when Clare consulted with her specialist and was devastated to be told a scan of her liver showed cancerous lesions. Further tests showed she was at ‘Stage 4’. There is no stage 5. Doctors didn’t give her much time. Now Clare just hopes for time to be with her kids and plan for their future and time for a medical miracle to be found.

“I didn’t know who else to call. Maria, one of the Breast Care Nurses said she would come over. I said ‘My house is a mess!’ She said, ‘That’s ok we don’t care what your house looks like’. She came over and she sat there for as long as I needed and she made me feel better.

Photo by Steve Ferrier. Courtesy of The

West Australian.

At Breast Cancer Care WA we’re there for people like Clare – whenever they need us. Thanks to the support we’ve received we’ve been able to send Clare and the kids for an amazing day out at Adventure World. She’s had her home freshly painted thanks to our very kind corporate volunteers and we made sure her 37th birthday was a big celebration thanks to dinner and a limousine ride for the whole family. With donations, we’ve helped with financial support and rent payments when Clare has had to take time off for treatment. With your support we’ll be with her and her young ones all the way. People with advanced breast cancer face many emotional and physical challenges. During this time their requirements may change and their needs will increase. Currently there are few services, other than ours available to them.

But we can’t do it alone, which is why we are asking if you could help us with a donation today? Every year in WA 1500 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and deal with shock, fear, stress, pain and months and months of gruelling treatment.

Donations can be made online at or by phoning us on 9324 3703.

News Lavan Legal,

leading the way Lavan Legal has chosen to support Breast Cancer Care WA for three months during 2014 as part of their community committee initiative. As part of that initiative, the committee discussed not only organising fundraising opportunities but also promotion and exposure of Breast Cancer Care WA within the firm to its staff. The firm was honoured to have Breast Cancer Care WA’s board member and breast cancer survivor, Pauline Gately visit the firm to speak to everyone about her own challenges and experience with breast cancer. For the quarter the firm is having casual dress days (for at least a gold coin donation – all monies collected will be matched by the partners) and a champagne soiree to be held in Lavan Lounge.

We are thrilled to have Lavan Legal on board and very grateful for their support. If your business would like to find out more about supporting Breast Cancer Care WA, please contact Emma Stenhouse at

Colour your life better Not only do corporate volunteer projects improve employee satisfaction, retention and engagement, the outcomes of the project’s can also really make somebody’s day! For instance take Clare Van Santen, who recently had her lounge room, hallways and kitchen made over from a corporate volunteer team at Vizeum. To the team Clare said:

“You will never know the difference it has made to my life. For those of you who were here on the day, you saw the colour my walls were. I never realised how much those colours were bringing me down until you all brightened up my life and gave the walls a fresh coat of paint.

I can honestly tell you my mood has been significantly better ever since, this is a big

thing for someone like me who has a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer. Each day is a struggle, some days better than others;

however you have all made my days a little easier. Thank you

so very much, I am so grateful for all your hard work.” Special thanks to the people at Dulux Australia who generously donated 30 litres of their top of the range wash and wear paint for the project, we really appreciate your support! A team of 30 from Western Power also did a fantastic job when they put a morning of their time and energy into setting up for the Purple Bra Day street appeal. Thanks to this fantastic team of volunteers, every shop window had a poster in their window and volunteer HQ was set up well in advance, saving a lot of time and stress on event day. Many thanks to the team and also to Volunteering WA who assisted with the facilitation of this project.

If you think your workplace could take on a corporate volunteer oportunity with a WA based organisation, email or call 3924 3703.

"Nutritional Healing" Young Today, Young Tomorrow

Clarisse Jennings Librarian, breast cancer survivor and volunteer

The contents of this valuable book also informs the reader about the treatment of diseases by eating the right foods, the right fruits and vegetables, as well as the use of super- nutrients and antioxidants our bodies need for a healthy life style. Excellent advice to “Live Longer, Be Healthier and Happier”

By Soroush Habibi M.D.

Another informative resource penned by an Australian Doctor/Author will help to: * Increase your brain power * Improve your energy level * Use essential nutrients and antioxidants wisely * Protect yourself against cancer and heart disease * Become health conscious and optimise your health * Make a difference to your life and the lives of others

Reviewed By Clarisse Jennings.

Spirit Newsletter August 2014 l Page 5

Fundraising Champions A huge thank you to all of our amazing community

fundraisers; 2013/2014 has been our biggest year yet! To everyone, from morning tea extraordinaires to banquet hosts with the most, all of your hard work has made a big difference to Western Australians on their breast cancer journey. As we receive no government funding we can honestly say without your continued support we couldn’t do what we do. Every bit helps.

Boobalicious raise $155,000

On Saturday, 28 June, guests were invited to take a walk through the smokey streets of Paris in celebration of the 11th annual Boobalicious Ball. Crown Perth played host to 820 guests at this year’s highly anticipated sold-out event!

Event organiser Peta Evans said “We have already begun planning for next year’s event held on Saturday, 27 June 2015 and hope to make our 12th celebration the biggest and brightest Boobalicious Ball yet!“

We’ve been lucky enough to have lots of amazing people fundraise for us through running events this year; both in the HBF Run for a Reason and in Perth’s newest running event The Swan River Run. David was one of our stars in this year’s Swan River Run and was able to raise over $7000. David said he wanted to “raise some funds for Breast Cancer Care WA to allow them to continue with their great work which Julie and I have been so fortunate to benefit from during the last three years”.

Perth’s most stylish came together for a glamorous night of decadent entertainment, delicious cuisine and determined fundraising proudly hosted by in support of Breast Cancer Care WA. Hosted by Mix 94.5’s Kymba Cahill, the show kicked off with an array of beautiful and elegant Parisian-themed outfits and a special performance from singer Veronique Willing. Guests were mesmerized by the Ball’s signature lingerie and fantasy show and at the close of formalities, Kymba invited captivated guests to partake in the famous Lounge Bar!

Fighting Fit

“This outstanding result takes dollars raised from the Boobalicious Ball for Breast Cancer Care WA in 11 years to over $1 million!”

Another running star, Alana, pledged on her fundraising page that if she raised over $5,000 for doing the HBF Run for a Reason she would shave off her hair. She kept her word and was kind enough to send us a picture of her new look. Well done Alana!

ATCO Australia ATCO Power Australia recently held their much loved annual charity sausage sizzle at the Cossack Art Awards Family Day and this year chose us as one of their beneficiaries. The sun was shining and the day was a huge success, the team even fired up a second BBQ as they were in such high demand. As part of their Employees Participating in Communities Program, ATCO absorbed all the costs to host the barbecue and employees volunteered to cook so that 100% of funds raised could be donated to charities, assisting the Karratha and Pilbara region.

Thanks ATCO Power Australia!

Bridgetown Motocross On 28 September Classic MXWA are holding their annual Bridgetown motocross race and this year have chosen to raise funds for us through their hilarious ‘undies on the outside’ relay race with the blokes donning bras this year! You can register to ride or just go along to cheer on the riders and see some classic racing on one of WA’s most picturesque natural terrain MX tracks.

Find out more at

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Breast cancer affects one in eight women before the age of 85, with 40 women being diagnosed every day in Australia. Early detection of breast cancer gives the best possible outcome, so make today the time you pick back up, or start a regular breast awareness routine. There are many ways you can get involved to help spread the awareness message:

Be Aware

Buy Purple You can support us this breast cancer awareness month by purchasing one of our fantastic pin badges for $5 or a purple wristband for $2 and wearing it with pride. You can buy your pin or wristband by coming into our offices, calling us or go online to our website.

Make sure you check your breasts regularly, know what is normal for you and are aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. You can also download our free breast checker iPhone app “Dr K’s breast checker” to receive automated reminders, tips and much more.

Signs and Symptoms If you notice any of these changes see your GP straight away • Lump/lumpiness • Change in size or shape • Redness, thickening or dimpling of breast tissue • Nipple itchiness, inversion or discharge • A new and persistent pain

For more information on the facts and myths or download the app, visit

Turn Your Fridays Purple To support Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year we are asking you to go purple and get your friends and family to sponsor you to do so. Purple Fridays are easy to do and can include anything from dressing in purple clothes, having a purple bake sale or having a purple cocktail party. What are you waiting for? Register now for a free Purple Fridays fundraising guide full of ideas and useful information and to get your balloons, information brochures and donation containers for your fundraiser.


Skydive We are thrilled to offer you the chance to fundraise in a unique way this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Registrations are only $199 for this year’s Jump for Jane event to tandem skydive over Langley Park. October 2013 was our first Jump for Jane event in memory of our board member Jane Loring, who sadly passed away from breast cancer last year. Jane could be your mother, aunty, sister or best friend. Who would you jump for?

To get involved in this year’s skydive and raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Care WA on Saturday October 25 contact Jo on or 9324 3703. Spirit Newsletter August 2014 l Page 7

Purple Bra Day wrap up Australians are a generous bunch! To celebrate ‘Include a Charity Week’, many of Australia’s most loved charities like Breast Cancer Care WA will come together from 8-14 September to urge more Australians to include a charity in their Will to help the good work of charities live on.

Why leave a gift in your Will? Perth, Northam, Geraldton and indeed many mines and towns across WA went Purple on Friday June 20 as Purple Bra Day fever hit. Our heroes were spread far and wide throughout Western Australia proudly wearing the iconic Purple Bra come rain or shine to show off their hero status and the fact that they were raising funds to provide our vital services for those with breast cancer. The 12th annual Purple Bra Day has so far raised $281,000 with Melissa Del Popolo taking the highest individual fundraising title for the second year running with $10,168 and the Mandurah Angels just tipping this as the highest fundraising team with $11,456. The street appeal itself was a humbling, encouraging and energising experience. We have so much admiration for the commitment and determination required for the 148 volunteers to brave a cold winter’s morning at 6am to stand in the CBD shaking a tin. Together we raised an impressive $30, 286.70 in the street appeal, a fantastic outcome. A special mention goes out to Clare Van Santen, the top individual fundraiser on the day bringing in close to $1,000 and to the

Perth Angels of the Legends Football League, with a fantastic team total of $2,180. Breast Cancer Care WA’s nurses and counselors arrived in style with JD Roderick and the Hot Rod and Harley teams that generated huge excitement as they churned up the streets and stimulated the fundraising from Victoria Park to Forrest Place. The focus on this year’s campaign was on tying together the Purple Bra Day event with the Breast Cancer Care WA brand and the non-monetary knock on effect from this has been over whelming with new community fundraisers planning events throughout the year, an influx of new clients and multiple businesses offering to donate their services to support Breast Cancer Care WA going forward. Purple Bra Day cannot only be credited to the heroes in the WA community who put their hand up to wear the bra, but also to our event partners who each year bring their passion, enthusiasm and experience in support of the campaign. We would sincerely like to thank each and every person who continues to support us. It is now time to safely pack away your Purple Bra... until next time heroes.

It’s a common misconception that only wealthy people leave a gift to charity when they pass. The reality is that most bequests are made by ordinary, hard-working people who want to make a positive difference to their community after they are gone. The simple fact is that without the generosity of these normal, everyday Australians, many charities we know and support like Breast Cancer Care WA wouldn’t even exist.

Fortunately Australians as a whole are a very generous bunch, with 70% of us supporting charities and when asked, 29% of people say they’d be willing to leave a gift in their Will once family and friends had been provided for. The trouble is only 7.5% of Australians actually end up doing that. Including a charity in your Will is just as easy as providing for your loved ones and it can be as much or as little as you want. If the percentage of Australians making a bequest were to increase to just 12%, an additional $440 million would be created in Australia every year to help charities like us continue our work. Members like us from ‘Include a Charity’ are hoping to grow the proportion of Australians who have included a gift in their Will to charity from 7.5% to 15% by 2020. To be part of the week or to find out more please contact Kathy Kane Community Relations Manager on 99324 3703 or email her on

Employees from Rio Tinto’s Marandoo Mine site.

Spirit August 2014